Usher preparing for a funeral

How To Write An Obituary

It's never easy to write an obituary. You've just lost someone close to you and the obituary is one of the last chances you have to share your loved one's legacy with the world. 

Where do you even begin? When you want to honor the person you just lost, there are so many different details to juggle it's easy to find yourself overwhelmed. With this obituary guide, we hope to make the process go a little smoother. 

  • Who Should Write the Obituary?
    The obituary should be written by someone that knew the deceased individual very well. In most cases, it is appropriate for surviving husbands and wives to write an obituary for their deceased spouse or for a son or daughter to write an obituary for their deceased mother or father. It's always best to have someone totally familiar with all aspects of that person's life write the final words people will read about them. 
  • What Should Be Included?
    This is the most important aspect to consider. What would the deceased person want others to know about them? It's always good to start with a bit of general background information. You should include where the person was born, what schools they attended, the employers they spent the most time with, their hobbies, and their close relatives. You should also include the names of other close relatives that have passed away. The final notes should involve the dates and times of funeral arrangements so that people can attend if they wish. 
  • How Long Should it Be?
    You want to give people an accurate description of the life of the deceased person. The obituary should be long enough to contain all of the important information that you believe people should know, but not so long that it includes personal details that only a few people would know. If friends would like to know more, then they can always ask you. It's in good taste to protect the deceased person's private life. For that reason, it's best to keep the obituary less than 500 words. 
  • Where are Obituaries Published?
    Obituaries typically appear in daily or weekly newspapers. This is to ensure that many people get to see the deceased person's final details. Obituaries are also often published online. The information age has made it easier for the deceased person to be remembered. 
  • How Much Does it Cost?
    Some newspapers won't charge any money to publish obituaries. This is why they have a special section of the paper dedicated to publishing them. Other newspapers might charge a small fee of around $50, although they may charge more for an especially long column or a photograph. You can usually publish an obituary for free online if you choose to do so. 

You can help the deceased person live on after their death with the help of their obituary. A well-written obituary is a classy touch that can help ease the pain of loss. It's best to show the world their brightest accomplishments and vital to show that they were part of a loving family that will miss them.